You can easily build trust with your OTTB using positive reinforcement

Jen asks a question about creating a bond with her off track Thoroughbred. She is just getting to know her new horse and wants to get started using positive reinforcement training.  Using the click/reward techniques will help to build trust incredibly fast.  The trust and respect will grow stronger each and every day.

In addition to what I said in the video, I always recommend reinforcing for relaxation.  Building it into your criteria from the start will be a big help. Typically, a horse right off the track has a tendency toward being full of energy and not very quick to settle. So as you start the basics (bridge, and target training) watch his eyes, ears, mouth, jaw, head position and body for signs of softness.  At first he may not be very relaxed but look for small improvements…tiny little approximation toward settling.  By clicking and reinforcing for these increments you will see him becoming more and more relaxed.  With relaxation comes focus, manners, sensibility, and a good attitude.

I am really excited for the two of you because I know the amazing journey that lies ahead.  Jenn, please keep me posted of your progress and congratulations on your new horse!

Ask Shawna Clicker and Target Issues On Target Training On the Ground

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